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Australian Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilisation - Past Events 2008

2008 Calendar of Events




The Unity of the Jewish People?

A lecture by Professor Jack Wertheimer

Dr Jack Wertheimer is Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Joseph and Miriam Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He is author or editor of over a dozen book. Download flyer [pdf 104kb]

The Holocaust through the prism of the shtetl

Professor Bauer is one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust. Download flyer [pdf 72kb]

  • Date: Tuesday 11 March 2008
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building H, Room H.126
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Cost: $10/$5 students
  • Enquiries: or 9902 0771

Now: A symposium on the genocide in Darfur

The symposium is for those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and to reflect on what can be learned from scholarly approaches to genocide prevention.

Professor Yehuda Bauer, a world leading expert on the Holocaust and genocide, author of countless books and articles, and adviser to the United Nations on genocide prevention, will lead the symposium. Professor Bauer is visiting Monash University as a guest of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation.


Mourning and Commemoraton

A panel marking the commemoration of three significant tragic historic events – ANZAC Day, the Armenian Genocide and the Shoah – in a single week in April 2008. Speakers include Professor Peter Balaikan, guest of the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee and author of Black Dog of Fate; Professor Leah Garrett, Loti Smorgon Chair of Contemporary Jewish Life and Culture, Monash University and Professor Alistair Thomson, School of Historical Studies, Monash University.


Monash Israel Oration
The Future of Israel: Three Scenarios

Professor Fania oz-Salzberger, Leon Liberman Chair of Modern Israel Studies. Download flyer [pdf 308kb]


Limmud Oz

Australia's annual festival of Jewish learning and culture, hosted in 2008 by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation.

  • Dates: Saturday 21 to Tuesday 24 June 2008
  • Times: Opening night Saturday 8.00pm at Glen Eira Auditorium
    Sunday 22nd 9.00am - 6.00pm
    Monday 23rd 4.00pm - 10.00pm
    Tuesday 24th 4.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Venues: Opening night, Glen Eira Auditorium,
    Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield
    Festival days, Monash University Caulfield Campus
  • Contact:


Winter School 2008

An outstanding lecture and seminar series with international visiting scholars Professor Amy-Jill Levine and Professor Jay Geller. Presented by Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Council of Christians and Jews Vic.Inc. and Jewish Museum of Australia.


Jud Suss: A Third Reich Field Guide to Jewish Beats

The Australian Centre for Jewish Studies Winter School presents a screening of this 1940 film that sought to mobilize anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. Following a screening of the film, Professor Jay Gellar of Vanderbilt University will offer a commentary and lead a discussion.

  • Date: Sunday 3 August 2008
  • Venue: Monash University, Caulfield Campus
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Contact: (03) 9902 0771
  • Numbers are strictly limited. Early bookings are strongly advised.

Reading Identities-a symposium

The School of Historical Studies invites you to a symposium on 'Reading Identities'. The speakers will include Professor Jane Caplan, who is visiting Monash from Oxford University, Professor Leah Garrett, who has just taken up the the Loti Smorgon Research Chair in Contemporary Jewish Life and Culture in the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Dr Michael Hau from the School of Historical Studies and Dr Franz-Josef Deiters from the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics.

  • Date: Monday 4 August 2008
  • Venue: The Elizabeth Burchill Rooms, Building 68, Clayton Campus
  • Time: 3.00pm-6.00pm
  • Contact: Susan Grist (03) 9905 2164
  • RSVP by Wednesday 30 July 2008

A broken world: whose responsibility?

Ruth Messinger (President of the American Jewish World Service)

The AJWS is an international development organisation providing support to 350 grass roots social change projects throughout the world. It is the world's largerst Jewish humanitarian social justice organisation. Ruth Messinger has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews of the year by America's leading Jewish newspater, the Forward, for the past seven years. Download flyer [pdf 788kb]

Spiritual Journeys: Mysticism Across Religions

A free public seminar exploring mystical experience in Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Eastern religious traditions. Speakers include, Constant Mews, Nathan Wolski, Salih Yucel and a panel of experts on Eastern mystical traditions.

Melbourne Writer's Festival - Rewriting the Jew

Contemporary literature has taken the traditional depiction of Jews in literature, which has been sustained since the middle-ages, and turned it on its head.
Setting us to rights are the experts Naomi Ragen, Dvir Abramovich, Fania Oz-Salzberger & Leah Garrett. Naomi Ragen’s visit is supported by the Zionist Federation of Australia.

  • Date: Friday 22 August 2008
  • Venue: ACMI 1, Federation Square, City
  • Time: 2.30pm - 3.30pm
  • Further Information:
  • Download flyer [pdf 63kb]

Melbourne Writer's Festival - Rwanda

A million dead. Fourteen years later, Philip Gourevitch and Mark Baker go through the events leading up to Rwandan genocide and offer explanations for the enormities.

  • Date: Thursday 28 August 2008
  • Venue: BMW Edge, Federation Square, City
  • Time: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
  • Further Information:
  • Download flyer [pdf 63kb]


Image of Benny Morris

Changing History: The Past and Future of the Arab-Israel Conflict

Leading historian of Arab-Israel conflict to visit Melbourne

Professor Benny Morris is Israel's foremost historian of the Arab-Israel conflict. His numerous books and media articles have led to a seismic shift in how we think about the past and future of the region. His books include: Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999, (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999); The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (Cambridge University Press, 1989); Making Israel (editor; University of Michigan Press, 2008); and, most recently, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (Yale University Press, 2008). He has debated historical issues in the Oxford Union and the New York Public Library and has been at the centre of public controversy about the reasons for the failure of the Oslo peace process.

Benny Morris will visit Monash University as a guest of the Leon Liberman Chair of Modern Israel Studies.

  • Date: Sunday 14 September 2008
  • Venue: Monash University Caulfield Campus
    Building K, Lecture theatre K309
    900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
  • Entry: $15 students adn Monash staff free (ID card required)
  • No bookings, pay at the door

The Cotswolds in Jerusalem: the British Empire and why the Holy City looks like it does

A free public lecture by Professor Simon Goldhill

Everyone is familiar with the glorious view of the walls of Jerusalem, and with the bustling suk (market place) of the Old City. This talk will uncover the extraordinary history of how Jerusalem came to look like it does, the surprising role of some old school chums running the British Empire, and some of the forgotten history of the gates and walls which make Jerusalem what it is today.

Simon Goldhill is currently Professor of Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics at King's College, University of Cambridge.

  • Date: Monday 22 September 2008
  • Time: 8.00pm
  • Venue: Building H, Room H.125
    Caulfield Campus, Monash University
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 0771 or
Image of Simon Goldhill

Why don't Jews write biography?

Academic Workshop presented by Professor Simon Goldhill

This seminar will investigate an unoticed fact about Jewish writing. Until the enlightenment of the eighteenth century CE, it is extremely hard to find Jewish writers constructing biography as a literary form. We will look at the ancient tradition of biography, how it is invented and developed both in Greco-Roman and in Christian culture. We will then look at what might look like Jewish attempts at the form within the Greco-Roman culture and then at what the Babylonian Talmud makes of the form. Finally, we will try and work out why Jews don’t write biography.

Professor Goldhill is currently Professor of Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics at King's College at the University of Cambridge.

  • Date: Tuesday 23 September 2008
  • Time: 11.00am-1.00pm
  • Venue: Building 25, Room ST2/25
    Clayton Campus, Monash University
  • Enquiries: (03) 9902 0771 or